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Canon PIXMA MX350
Canon’s MX range of PIXMA inkjet all-in-ones is aimed at the small and home office. The MX350, which sits roughly in the middle of the range, includes fax facilities and an Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) in its feature set and can upload and print photos, as well as plain paper documents.
Canon has a way of making its machines look solid and sturdy, while retaining a characteristic style. Unlike most inkjet machines with ADF's, the 30-sheet feeder for the scanner is integrated into the top of the printer, with a sloped skirt around it, into which is set the machine's control panel. When not in use, the ADF's feed tray folds in half, to complete the smooth look of the printer's top.
Perhaps the most unusual feature for this ostensibly business inkjet is the 62mm colour LCD display set into the middle of the control panel. This is ideal for showing copy parameters, menus and thumbnails of photos for selection. It works well alongside Canon's trademark click-wheel, which you can run your finger around to flip through menu options, as well as pressing in four directions for selection.
There are four large function keys for copy, fax, scanning and photo upload, each of which has an indicator LED set into its rounded corner. A number pad is available for fax dialling and quick setup of secure wireless connections and there are two large illuminated buttons for black and colour print.
The only paper tray is a 100-sheet fold-up support at the rear and this leads to an output tray formed by folding down the front panel. It would be good to have the under-slung paper cassette incorporated into other PIXMA all-in-ones, but there has to be some trade-off against price.
Set into the curved right-hand edge of the machine is a hinged cover that hides three memory card slots. There's a PictBridge socket below this, which doubles as a connection for USB drives.
At the back are sockets for USB and Ethernet connections, but many people will use the built-in wireless setup wizard to connect directly to a Wi-Fi router. This is a simple process, even if you have to enter a passkey.
There are just two print cartridges - one back and the other tri-colour - that clip into the machines heads. Installation of the software, which is provided for Windows and OS X, is also pretty painless once you've run the setup utility from the CD. Canon’s useful suite of copy and scanning software is also provided.